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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 65.djvu/404

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

the loosely attached abdominal organs is maintained and the waist kept small, preventing unsightly thickening of the tissues in this region.

A small waist is only beautiful if the lateral line drops into the hip gradually and passes out over the hip bone in a steady but not sudden curve. If the curve dips in abruptly and springs over the hip bone at an acute angle, giving a waspish appearance to the waist, it argues for flabby tissues about the abdomen, sides and back. Such slimness evinces a lack of early development, weak digestive and other vital organs, and tendency to speedy shapelessness. It is a difficult matter to regain vigor in such tissues. The upper chest should be full and fairly broad, and if the collar bones show, as is often seen in both plump and thin people, some fault exists in the tension of the muscles and tissues of the thorax, shoulders and back and the lungs have not attained full apical expansion. This being overcome, the clavicles should not appear at all, because the ribs will then be held normally and nearly at a right angle to the spinal column. There should be ample space in the lower rib areas, indicating lung room and vigor of diaphragm. The arms should hang easily, without tension, and fall a little in advance of the middle of the hip bone. Any stiffness in the arms or shoulders or elbows makes for awkwardness. In walking, the pelvis should be kept practically level, the tissues between the shoulder blades and along the backbone should hold the chest erect and keep the breastbone well up in front. Then the thighs will be able to move easily with no undue weight falling on the heel. If a person strikes the heel heavily on the ground in walking, these precautionary points are neglected and grace can not follow. The normal sway of the arms in walking is slightly toward the mid line in front; any tendency for them to fall toward the back, or worse than all, behind the back, is a hideous fault, and unless the back is grossly curved, causes the body to pitch forward clumsily on the heels. A good rule is to keep the base of the neck well back against the collar and the lobes of the ears as far as possible above the tips of the shoulders.

It is obvious that to retain beauty one of the first considerations must be to habitually exercise economy of all the natural forces; avoiding so much of those wastefulnesses of wear and tear as is possible in the ordinary exigencies of daily life. It may be answered to this truism that it is scarcely feasible, or indeed desirable, to order one's life on such a plane of artificiality or selfishness, as shall make for the shirking of communal labors and responsibilities. This need not be claimed-as the result of the practise of these normal economics. It should be the duty of all teachers, parental or professional, to inculcate in the young a philosophic attitude toward annoyances, disappointments, even calamities, for of these every mother's child of us